original USS Essex

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This all from memory but as I remember it the Essex during the War of 1812 was sent to the Pacific to prey on the British whaling fleet. USS Essex was a frigate and I can't remember whether she was as large as Constitution but am sure she was at least a 38 gun frigate. The bad news was that she was armed solely with carronades, I think 32 pounders, which of course were short ranged but useful for sinking whaling ships. I think her skipper was a fellow named Farragut of later fame in the War of Northern Aggression. There was a midshipman on board named Porter who also distinguished himself in that later war. Can anybody correct what I remember so far or finish the story? How about some of you Brits? Do you remember Phoebe or Cherub?
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